Sci-am-racialWhat happened to my beloved magazine, Scientific American?

It appears that the radical progressive communist democrats and their culture of “wokeness” have become the editorial overlords of the magazine. With their pseudo-science, the pretense of knowledge, and incomprehensible word salads, the elite interpreters of the “science of culture” have injected their soul-crushing dogma into what was a formerly pleasant learning experience.

How effin crazy is it to argue over the appropriateness of acronyms as interpreted by individuals with a cognizable racial bias?

The acronym “JEDI” has become a popular term for branding academic committees and labeling STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) initiatives focused on social justice issues. Used in this context, JEDI stands for “justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.”

[OCS: Notice the inclusion of “medicine” into the traditional hard-science STEM acronym? Medicine, which is part science and part art, and as recently demonstrated, politicized nonsense that ignores science in favor of a political agenda.] 

In recent years, this acronym has been employed by a growing number of prominent institutions and organizations, including the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

At first glance, JEDI may simply appear to be an elegant way to explicitly build “justice” into the more common formula of “DEI” (an abbreviation for “diversity, equity and inclusion”), productively shifting our ethical focus in the process. JEDI has these important affordances but also inherits another notable set of meanings: It shares a name with the superheroic protagonists of the science fiction Star Wars franchise, the “Jedi.” Within the narrative world of Star Wars, to be a member of the Jedi is seemingly to be a paragon of goodness, a principled guardian of order and protector of the innocent. This set of pop cultural associations is one that someJEDI initiatives and advocates explicitly allude to.

[OCS: Is this an example of “pareidolia,” the perception of a recognizable image or meaningful pattern where none exists? Alternatively, a “woke author” inappropriately attempting to inject race into science or bring about a woke cultural correction?]

Whether intentionally or not, the labels we choose for our justice-oriented initiatives open them up to a broader universe of associations, branding them with meaning—and, in the case of JEDI, binding them to consumer brands. Through its connections to Star Wars, the name JEDI can inadvertently associate our justice work with stories and stereotypes that are a galaxy far, far away from the values of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. The question we must ask is whether the conversations started by these connections are the ones that we want to have.

[OCS: The conversation I want to have starts with a question. How many normal individuals consider Yoda, the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order, in the context of race, or vice versa?]

As we will argue, our justice-oriented projects should approach connections to the Jedi and Star Wars with great caution, and perhaps even avoid the acronym JEDI entirely. Below, we outline five reasons why.

The Jedi are inappropriate mascots for social justice. Although they’re ostensibly heroes within the Star Wars universe, the Jedi are inappropriate symbols for justice work. They are a religious order of intergalactic police-monks, prone to (white) saviorism and toxically masculine approaches to conflict resolution (violent duels with phallic lightsabers, gaslighting by means of “Jedi mind tricks,” etc.). The Jedi are also an exclusionary cult, membership to which is partly predicated on the possession of heightened psychic and physical abilities (or “Force-sensitivity”). Strikingly, Force-wielding talents are narratively explained in Star Wars not merely in spiritual terms but also in ableist and eugenic ones: These supernatural powers are naturalized as biological, hereditary attributes. So it is that Force potential is framed as a dynastic property of noble bloodlines (for example, theSkywalker dynasty), and Force disparities are rendered innate physical properties, measurable via “midi-chlorian” counts (not unlike a “Force genetics” test) and augmentable via human(oid) engineering. The heroic Jedi are thus emblems for a host of dangerously reactionary values and assumptions. Sending the message that justice work is akin to cosplay is bad enough; dressing up our initiatives in the symbolic garb of the Jedi is worse.

[OCS: Every time I hear the phrase “justice work,” I think of community organizing rooted in communism and an attempt to overthrow the greatest nation on the face of the Earth in favor of despotic slavery by a cadre of self-proclaimed elites. Many of which are credentialed and experienced in narrow disciplines, but who lack commonsense and are somewhat psychotic.

You will notice that the descriptive labeling of the fictional Jedi is replete with the radical left jargon of division. The idea of “white saviorism” is somewhat nonsensical as Yoda is a small, green humanoid alien with prodigious powers. A fictional sexless character.] 

This caution about JEDI can be generalized: We must be intentional about how we name our work and mindful of the associations any name may bring up—perhaps particularly when such names double as existing words with complex histories.

Star Wars has a problematic cultural legacy. The space opera franchise has been critiqued for trafficking in injustices such as sexism, racism and ableism. Think, for example, of the so-called “Slave Leia” costume, infamous for stripping down and chaining up the movie series’ first leading woman as part of an Orientalist subplot. Star Wars arguably conflates “alienness” with “nonwhiteness,” often seeming to rely on racist stereotypes when depicting nonhuman species. The series regularly defaults onto ableist tropes, memorably in its portrayal of Darth Vader, which links the villain’s physical disability with machinic inhumanity and moral deviance, presenting his technology-assisted breathing as a sinister auditory marker of danger and doom. What’s more, the bodies and voices centered in Star Wars have, with few exceptions, historically been those of white men. And while recent films have increased gender and racial diversity, important questions remain regarding how meaningfully such changes represent a departure from the series’ problematic past. Indeed, a notable segment of the Star Wars fandom has aggressively advocated the (re)centering of white men in the franchise, with some equating recent casting decisions with “white genocide.” Additionally, the franchise’s cultural footprint can be tracked in the saga of United States military-industrial investment and expansion, from debates around Reagan’s “Star Wars” Strategic Defense Initiative to the planned Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (another “JEDI” program), sometimes winkingly framed with Star Wars allusions. Taken together, the controversies surrounding Star Wars make JEDI at best an inappropriate way to brand justice work—a kind of double-edged sword (or better yet, double-bladed “lightsaber”). At worst, this way of branding our initiatives is freighted with the very violence that our justice work seeks to counter. 

When we consider the relationship of JEDI to Star Wars and its fraught cultural legacy, a more general caution comes into view: When we label our initiatives, we must be careful about the universe of narratives and symbols within which we situate our work—and the cultural associations and meanings that our projects may take on, as a result. <Source>

Bottom line…

Regardless of the author’s opinion and characterization of a fictional world populated by fictional characters, we are witnessing the continuing degradation of science by injecting racialized politics and the language of the left into every aspect of our life. This prescription for cultural disaster spreads far beyond the now-toxic academy that appears to demand that science serve politics rather than inform rational decision-making. 

We are now seeing this trend toward racialization and politicization crippling science by funding studies based on hypotheses with favorable political outcomes and ignoring studies that might falsify or fail to validate existing studies.

Moreover, inventing academic disciplines without an organized body of knowledge, critical thinking, sound argumentation, a sense of ethical responsibilities, and the use of credible and credited sources. Disciplines that launch with a negative bias and extreme hatred of the United States, its existing culture, and its political system – featuring a pre-ordained conclusion that the old system must be destroyed in favor of a [insert your brand of communism here] –based society. A hypothetical world that cannot exist in a world where human nature is not subjugated by force.

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS